Project Life for a new business model for agricultural cooperatives


The main objective of this project is to demonstrate the economic and environmental viability of a new business model for agricultural cooperatives, integrating energy savings and the generation of renewable energies and biomass production.

The contribution of Energreen Design

Energreen design developed the study for the retrofit of the industrial unit of the Cooperativa Agricola de Cambrils. This project consisted in the study of the energy consumption of several spaces, with different activity, all reunited under the same big industrial unit: Food storage and food preparation units which required a constant temperature all over the year; offices and dining areas; machinery rooms, refrigeration rooms warehouse and local food marke

The Project: COOP 2020 logo-coop2020

Over the last decade European agricultural cooperatives had to cope with  increasing financial pressure due to stagnating prices oftheir products combined with an augmentation of expenses, especially of electricity and fuel. If these cooperatives were to disappear this would have a devastating effect on the rural economies of Europe, in particular Spain, where 20.6 million Ha. (40% of total surface) is dedicated to agriculture, with consequently important negative effects on Europe’s food supply and the maintenance of rural areas. Also, a lot of unused natural resources (olive and fruit pits, wood, agricultural and pruning waste) are perceived more as a problem than as a potential source of renewable and sustainable income.

How to prepare these cooperatives for the future and make them more competitive while at the same time remaining sustainable? The Coop 2020 project will focus on 2 main approaches:

  1. First of all, on the realisation of energy savings 
  2. Second, on the generation of energy from different renewable sources.

Both activities, to be tested and optimised, will form the backbone of a so-called “rural smart-grid” and support real life evidence that decentralised, distributed power generation is economically feasible and desirable. Through this project the Cooperativa de Cambrils wishes to lead by example, demonstrate the viability of a new productive model, which according to expectation  will generate a number of “green jobs” and provide a new future for rural development. Its desire is to inspire the implementation and expansion of rural smart grids in other Spanish, Greek and European agricultural regions.

[by Transfer LBC]

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